Written by: Lauren Demir
Photos: David Franco
Collages: Annie Mcgill
Rachel Foxx is a singer / songwriter from Hackney. We met with her just before summer ended, a few days before her 23rd birthday, ‘I feel like I’m on the right path for a 24-year-old' She quit her job around a year ago to focus on music as she was fed up of working in retail. Since then, she sold out her headline show with Live Nation. With friends Jamal Woon and Complexion supporting, she definitely made the right choice. Head-to-toe in a red velour tracksuit, with slicked down baby edges and gold teeth, Rachel is very much the epitome of a London girl. When she speaks she has a deep tone to her voice. ‘People used to say I sound like a man’, she laughs. But it’s the unique tone of her singing voice that makes her stand out in her own lane. She released her EP Blue Moon with 4 songs at the end of last year, dropping videos for the singles throughout this year. The EP is a mixture of upbeat RnB and soul, with a sound much different to her previous EP, the self-titled Rachel Foxx, as she’s developed a sound that comes from a happier place. ‘I feel like it’s a good time for women and it’s a good time for black music.’ We caught up with the singer to find out more about her.
Growing up I was into the male RnB artists. I listened to a lot of Jon B, Donell Jones. Joe’s my mum’s favourite artist - she used to bang out his albums every day. TLC and Aaliyah were probably some of my favourite artists growing up. When I got a bit older in secondary school and stuff – that’s when I started listening to Sade, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott heavily.
I love Sade - her tone is just like, “woo”. And Toni Braxton and Floetry. My aunts used to bang out Floetry so much. So much that it became annoying. But then I went and listened to them alone and by myself and I was like ‘Oh my God, this is amazing!’ My aunties, they’re more into soul, my mum’s into RnB.
I’m from a luxury retail background. I love clothes, My main motto is just being comfortable, that’s how I dress. I'm really into fits however I wear tracksuits most days. I fully got into it before I started doing music full time. I worked so many retail jobs. From when I was 16 I worked for so many designers. Every designer in Selfridges - Gucci, Christian Louboutin, Givenchy - I’ve worked for everybody.
I don't like remembering those days, I hated retail... I used to wake up at 7 in the morning, get ready, run to the shop and stand on the shop floor. What made me so driven in music is that I knew if I was putting all the same energy into my own thing then I’d know I’d never have to do that ever again. Before I was putting all that effort into someone else’s business, and that doesn’t make any sense to me. Why not you build myself up?
Before I would just always talk about love and heartbreak because that’s natural for me. But now I want to just do stuff that’s out of my comfort zone. That’s why I talk about fun stuff, I don’t want to always be depressed. Obviously that’s a vibe but I want to make music that people can listen to all the time - not just at night - and that’s why I've got this new content. Blue Moon was a bit more upbeat and a bit more happy. All my new stuff is different; it’s all up tempo, it’s all fun, it’s got like reggae influences as well. Obviously RnB and soul of course but it’s more fun - it’s more dance-y.
I don’t like doing bare releases or putting out bare tunes and flooding the scene. I just keep it really minimal and let it sink in. Even my Blue Moon EP - I haven't put out anything since then. I’ve got like a remix Skye Chai and I put out videos but other than that I haven’t put out any new songs. But I’m going to start now. I like Bryson Tiller, he doesn't put out a lot of shit but when he does, it’s good stuff. And my kind of music I like to think of it as timeless so you can play it 2 years later and it doesn’t sound like it was [from] back in the day.
Rachel Foxx, my self-titled EP, that’s some of my first ever recordings that I liked. I wrote so much of it and recorded it when I was 18 or 19. It was a proper natural EP. Blue moon came out in December last year and was a more organised EP. I got more accustomed to my sound and took some time to put it together. Blue Moon was a proper fun EP man, it wasn't depressing or nothing. A lot of my old stuff is very depressing and about heartbreak and stuff like that, but Blue Moon is a fun time, it’s so good.
First song you remember falling in love with?
Aaliyah, Don’t Know What To Tell Ya. It wasn’t a single it was just on the album, but I love that song.
Collaborate with any artist who would it be?
Kendrick Lamar. I loved Damn but my favourite album is To Pimp a Butterfly, because it was soul influenced. Or Tupac, I would like a verse from Tupac.
Collab / Cover / Can’t listen to for a year:
Eyrkah Badu, Jill Scott, Sade?
That’s really hard. Oh my God. I’d probably collaborate with Erykah Badu because she's a queen… I can’t do it, I can’t pick. You can’t cover Sade because you can’t cover classic music. You can’t cover any of these people because it’s like butchering a classic. I can’t do it, I’m gonna say pass.
One thing you want people to take from you?
I just want when people to hear my music, I want them to feel something when they hear it - and that’s it.
My newest signle "Happen to me" and the music video ofcourse.